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5 essential tips for cooking with asparagus
We've rounded up our top tips for making the most of this home-grown delicacy
Don’t avoid the thicker stalked asparagus, these ones are no less tender than their thin-stalked counterparts – they’re simply different varieties. The thicker stalked asparagus is better used in pasta, risotto and roasted dishes though, as it’s less likely to become overcooked.
Asparagus is very quick to prepare – either pop a colander over boiling water, place the asparagus inside and cover with foil to steam, or simply griddle, turning, until charred on all sides. Serve simply with butter for a starter in seconds, or try with flavoured butters (see opposite for inspiration).
Everyone thinks you should snap the stalks to remove the toughest part, but this can sometimes lead to wasting too much. Either be very, very careful when snapping, or locate the lowest bending point and trim with a knife.
Wine can be notoriously tricky to pair with asparagus. Fruity wines tend not to go well with the green vegetable, and can end up tasting metallic. As a rule, avoid rosé or those with an oaky or tannic element. Instead, opt for wines that don’t conflict with its ‘green flavour’ such as sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, beaujolais or pinot noir.
Traditionally, the British asparagus season begins on 1st May and runs for around seven-eight weeks, but it’s very climate dependent (the soil must be 10C before it even starts growing). If the winter and spring is mild you can expect to see it in shops from any time in April.
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